Global warming is increasing average air temperature, affecting energy consumption and thermal comfort inside buildings. This study investigates the relative impact of climate change on thermal energy needs and indoor thermal comfort conditions for a typical residential building located in different climates of Pakistan. Furthermore, the energy-saving potential and thermal comfort performance of various traditional and advanced retrofit measures are evaluated to mitigate the impact of climate change. Climate Change World Weather File Generator was used to produce weather files of typical metrological years of 2020, 2050, and 2080 under emission scenario A2 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). TRNSYS simulation software and ASHRAE adaptive discomfort model were used to calculate annual thermal energy demand and comfort conditions inside the buildings. The impact of climate is city-specific. Overall, results show that the temperature will increase in the range of 0.9-1.4 °C and 2.3-3.7 °C for the year 2050 and 2080 respectively from the present level (2020) while the absolute humidity increase range is 0.2-1.3 and 0.3 to 3.3 g/kg of air for the same years in the investigated cities of Pakistan. This would result in higher thermal energy needs for cooling in the range of 9.7-28.4 kWh/m2 by 2050 and 28.4-49.9 kWh/m2 by 2080. The climate-responsive retrofit solutions should be promoted by authorities and policymakers to strengthen a climate-resilient pathway of building stock in Pakistan.
Keywords future weather files, adaptive comfort model, climate change, Pakistan, TRNSYS, mitigation strategies